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Monday, 8 March 2021

Google's fight against EU antitrust fine goes to court

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Google's fight against EU antitrust fine goes to court
Google's fight against EU antitrust fine goes to court

Google's fight against a 2.6 billion dollar EU antitrust fine will be played out over three days from Wednesday at Europe's second-highest court.

Joe Davies reports.

Google's fight against a 2.6 billion dollar fine by the EU Commission goes to Europe's second-highest court from Wednesday (February 12).

The appeal comes three years after the tech giant was accused by the Commission of favouring its own price comparison shopping service.

It was also given an order to stop anti-competitive business practices and create a level playing field for rivals: (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMPETITION COMMISSIONER, MARGRETHE VESTAGER, SAYING: "Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving illegal advantages to another Google product, its shopping comparison service." The fine imposed on Google, a unit of Alphabet, was the biggest for a single company in an EU antitrust case.

It also represented the biggest regulatory setback yet for Google.

In 2013 it settled with U.S. enforcers with a requirement to stop "scraping" reviews and other data from rival websites for its own products.

Google says it disagrees with the findings of EU antitrust regulators that it had abused its dominant position.

The appeal hearing is set to run for three days.

Win or lose, it's just one of several huge fines Google has to contest.

In all the EU has hit Google with three penalties totalling about 9 billion dollars.

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